The page about seat choices now links to this PDF from 28 September. It looks like the front rows in Economy are now indeed classified as seats with extra legroom. The standard price is EUR20-30, but free for Platinum, 50% off for Gold and 25% off for Silver.
I can see people paying for EC on long-haul flights but not so much for short-haul flights.
I foresee two possible things:
1. EC will be filled with a lot of people who will enjoy a free upgrade;
2. That will be the end of Select Seating.
Agree. It is an absolute disgrace they are charging for seats that were previously (supposed to be) reserved, without charge, for Elites.
So then EC will be full of non-Elites who checked in late and got the 'upgrade' and Elites are stuck in the back, sometimes leading to a slow exit.
Also, how can they defend charging it as it doesn't even offer a significant amount of extra space/comfort? As said before, they were regular, free seats previously. They aren't exitrow seats.
And the PDF mentions MMB as possibility to reserve the seats. Will this mean Advance Seat Selection on intra-EU? Or will the seats only come available at OLCI?
If it has been introduced I would expect them to announce it soon.
Referring to the list provided by Siebrand, it would appear that extra-legroom seats follow the standard rules (free for Platinum, discount for Gold & Silver). Does this also apply to Economy Comfort seats, as on long-haul the seating products have different names?
To be honest I am quite surprised that this would indeed be the case, they have not adopted a more generous policy a la Delta, where they on intra-US flights offer EC to Gold members as well.
But I am sure KLM has done their research and I am sure we are all eagerly awaiting a press-release
I have been thinking about this and all I can come up with: What the hell are they thinking?
Currently they have problems filling 6 paid seats: The exit row. Even a long flight like AMS-ATH often has the exit rows filled last minute only (For free). How do they expect to fill 30(!) paid seats for the same price, which have even less legroom than the exit row? Like suggested above: They will be filled with late arrivals, most probably in the middle seats.
Then there is the matter of elites. These used to be free for elites, if now they will charge for them that would be a serious disadvantage for Golds and lower. For me personally there are three things important, in this order: Lounge access, Seated in the front of the plane, leg space. If this change is going to go through the last two are basically removed.
One could say that in that case I could just pay the fee. Yes I could, but it would be 30 euro extra per roundtrip. However with the not-such-large-differences between airlines pricing these days, KLM would come off very bad price wise. They are already quite a lot more expensive than *A to most European destinations, with this, it is no contest.
Quite frankly: I can see myself move over to *A. They have easy status qualifications nowadays, more flights to choose from Intra-Europe, and usually are cheaper. So why not...?
On my regular AMS-CPH commute the willingness to pay for emergency exit row seats seems to be about zero. They have lately taken to pre-assigning me such a seat, which surely must indicate that they are not expecting to sell it. I invariably move myself elsewhere, and the EE row(s) then remain empty whenever I check the seat map. I do not check once I've boarded, but a few days ago I heard the purser and an FA discussing which pax to move so the emergency exits would be manned.
I cannot imagine that many would be interested in paying for three inches of extra legroom on a 1 hour flight, most certainly not for a middle seat.
For me that's all good news. I was on a flight three days ago that was far from full, yet once again they had crammed pax into almost all the middle seats in the first four rows of Y.
Programs: Flying Blue Platinum, Aegean Miles&Bonus Gold
Originally Posted by KLflyerRalph
And the PDF mentions MMB as possibility to reserve the seats. Will this mean Advance Seat Selection on intra-EU?
It appears to mean exactly that. I have an upcoming intra-EU trip in Y and there is now a "select seats" link on the MMB page of this trip. Ok, if I click on the link I get at "seatmap not available" error, but noone would expect a new feature on the KL homepage to work without bugs from the beginning, would one?